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Memory Care Activities: Stimulating Engagement for Dementia Patients

Memory Care Activities: Stimulating Engagement for Dementia Patients

Memory care is much more than caring for individuals living with dementia. At the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living, our memory care community is a neighborhood full of people with the support and security they need to live life to the fullest. With the right stimulating and engaging memory care activities, the quality of life can improve drastically. Our caring staff finds what works for each individual so they find enjoyment and fulfillment in daily life. 

Read more below to find out how the memory care activities we’ve designed for our residents positively impact cognitive function, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.


Playing games is a great memory care activity that has proven very effective. Games stimulate cognitive function and encourage social interaction, which helps reduce feelings of isolation. They can also stimulate memories and are a great way to have more fun!

Several games are available depending on a person’s interests and preferences. These might include card games that the person is used to playing. Jigsaw, crossword, and board games stimulate the mind and help participants learn something new. Memory games and other cognitive games can stimulate problem-solving and other learning areas in the brain. Playing games can also give people feelings of accomplishment, even happiness, if they win or solve the puzzle!

Games challenge different cognitive skills and encourage residents to be social and participate in the community. When people feel like they belong to something greater, their mental health improves. They can also support their peers and receive support from their community, which helps people feel more connected and safe in their environment. 

Health and Fitness Activities

We all know that exercise helps you stay healthy, but for those experiencing dementia, it can be so much more. We know that our residents are challenged with sleep, anxiety, and often depression, which physical activity has been shown to help. Choosing the appropriate physical activity for each community member is a pathway to success.

Memory care activities aimed at improving health and fitness include gentle exercises like tai chi, yoga, chair fitness, and gardening. If appropriate, they might also include dancing or Zumba. Residents are also encouraged to walk in secure areas both inside and outside. Taking a long stroll outside in nature is a great mood lifter, and the staff is there to help if needed. 

Physical activity will help residents feel better, keep their bodies healthy, and be a fun part of their day. Group classes also help people stay socially connected and feel a part of a community while relying on peer encouragement to stay consistent. They’re also beneficial for keeping people on a regular schedule, which helps ease anxiety and tension. When tailored to the individual, health and fitness activities can tremendously benefit those with dementia.  

Art & Music Activities

Creativity benefits everyone, but for those individuals experiencing dementia, it has extra benefits. Creativity stimulates thinking, uplifts mood, and reduces depression and social isolation. Creativity also helps people experiencing dementia tap back into their personality and sharpen their senses. It can be a pathway to enjoying life again.

There are a number of memory care activities involving creative expression. For some, it might be an afternoon spent painting, coloring, or drawing. For others, it may involve working with clay, making a collage, working with textiles like crocheting or knitting, or participating in a cooking class. 

Art can also be used therapeutically. Viewing art can stimulate memories and emotions and can be very enjoyable. Creating and enjoying art helps encourage people to express their emotions in healthy ways and creates a sense of accomplishment. 

Music is another way to enjoy being creative and mentally and physically stimulating. Participating in a drumming circle or a sing-along with friends are some of the ways you can have a joyful experience. When used in therapeutic ways, music has been shown to increase cognitive function and reduce agitation for those experiencing dementia. Learning to play a new instrument can also provide a lot of mental stimulation and feelings of accomplishment and enjoyment. 

Listening to music, especially familiar tunes, can help residents reconnect with memories and provide emotional comfort. It can also help residents feel more calm and sometimes aid in falling asleep. When used therapeutically, music can provide a lot of comfort for those experiencing dementia. Art and music enrich people’s life experiences and help them connect with others through mutual appreciation and shared experiences.

Community-Based Activities

Here’s where living in a supportive community can be the best medicine. There are a number of memory care activities that are actually community events. Living in a supportive community reduces social isolation and helps residents enjoy beneficial and entertaining activities. Here at Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living, we enjoy community social hours with live music and other entertainment. This helps our residents have a variety of stimulating experiences that help them enjoy life. 

Spiritual practices can provide comfort, ease, and a sense of community. Participating in things like a bible study or even a group meditation session can connect people to a higher purpose. One meditation practice is mindfulness, which can be helpful with cognitive focus, relaxation, and an improved sense of well-being.

Another effective memory care activity is animal therapy. Certified therapy animals, usually cats or dogs, can provide comfort and companionship. Therapy animals have been shown to reduce depression and anxiety and lower blood pressure and stress hormones.

If you’re considering a memory care community for you or your loved one, we invite you to see what the Mission at Agua Fria Senior Living has to offer. Our experienced and skilled staff is here to answer any questions. Come join us for a tour and see what living well means.